Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Jack Boozer - Committee Chair
Angelo Restivo - Committee Member
Edward Friedman - Committee Member
While the MPAA’s Classification and Ratings Administration – or CARA – has generally expanded the freedoms of filmmakers since its 1968 inception, the economic failure of the NC-17 rating has led to substantial inconsistencies in the rating system. Because of the CARA model, filmmakers have been able to probe the extremes of violence under the R rating while they have been unable to do the same for screen sexuality. Through the NC-17 rating, CARA has been able to repress non-pornographic sexual portrayals by rating a given film NC-17, thus forcing contractually obligated directors to make edits that are sometimes inconsistent and arbitrary. Though cinema used to have significant thematic and visual freedoms over television, NC-17 level paid cable programming has surpassed what is allowed under CARA’s R-rating, allowing for more complex and mature viewpoints on sexuality than is currently allowed to regularly reach film audiences.
James, David Wesley, "The Failed NC-17 Rating, Screen Violence and Sexuality, and the Viability of the Current MPAA Ratings System" (2010). Communication Theses. Paper 61.